On game night for Brookville, re­mem­ber­ing a team­mate took prece­dence

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION - Jon Meeks, Lynch­burg, Va. The writer is head foot­ball coach at Brookville High School.

On Sept. 7, the Brookville Bees var­sity foot­ball team in Lynch­burg, Va., hon­ored one of their team­mates who died in a tragic car ac­ci­dent in May. Skyler “Sky­buck” McConville wore jer­sey #61 and was an avid hunter. We had a cam­ou­flage theme night, car­ried his jer­sey out for the coin toss and only had 10 men on the field for the first play of the game. This was our first home game this season. The com­mu­nity showed up in full force.

The coolest part of the night came when the Brookville Bees scored a touch­down in the mid­dle of the third quar­ter to put 61 points on the board. We chose to take a knee in­stead of kick­ing the ex­tra point to keep it at 61. With more than 16 min­utes left in the game, we de­cided to make sure we didn’t score an­other point. Three play­ers stepped out of bounds in­side the 10-yard line, and we took a knee on more than 12 plays to keep our score at 61. We were just one touch­down from break­ing the all-time-scor­ing record for a sin­gle game in Brookville his­tory, held since 1948. All the play­ers and coaches de­cided that keep­ing the score at 61 was way more im­por­tant.

Skyler McConville wore jer­sey #61.

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